A magical walk around Derwentwater…

This is my 4th and last blog from paradise, yet it’s still the morning of Day 2! I’ve crammed so much in already that I’ve run out of days 😂�….so following on from yesterdays blog – the early morning trundle to Friars Crag, after a lovely new breakfast of hot fruit and natural yogurt (Catherines idea as she didn’t like the idea of me not having something hot 😂, I went into town to do a few bits of shopping. It was the Saturday market so the square was heaving with shoppers. I managed to get the bits I needed along with my supper. I took them back to my room, then decided, today I’d walk around the lake. 

Being Saturday, there were lots of walkers doing the same as me, but because it was March, they all appeared to be paradise stalwarts and each smiled a good morning to everyone they passed, including me. The launches were busy taking some across to Hawes End to start their climb of Cats Bell

However, I decided to go clockwise so headed along the path that leads to Friars Crag. It was forecast to be a dry day with occasional sunny intervals which sounded fine to me! A Bullfinch was the first bird to hope down and see me – just look at the length of those talons 😳

But then the distinctive colour of a Robin caught my eye at the side of the path on the branch

She followed me along the path, hopping at the side of me…

Then hopped so close to my feet it was difficult to take a piccie

Before hopping back on the wire once more, then fleeing as a family came by. Was that a familiar stare ? I wasn’t sure 🤔

Thankfully the snow and ice had melted on most of the paths, leaving wet mud to trundle through…such a monochrome day

The yellow gorse provided colour at intervals along the way, now appearing to be at the height of its flowering

I reached Milenium corner, the bench idle, but no time to stop and sit

The exposed roots of the trees in the bay look like they’re crawling towards the water

As I came to a corner, a family were up ahead. Mum was concentrating on something; calling the children, but they had no interest once they saw it was only a bird….

“Come on mum” they called after her…..”I’ll catch you up” she said as her Robin came into view

I held back, not wanting to disturb the moment. She held out a piece of bread for her little friend and when it didn’t come close, she placed it on the log and it flew towards her snatching up the bread and flew off again….

“That was lovely to watch” I said as I moved closer. We chatted for a few minutes. It was her first time of having a Robin so close and she was overwhelmed by how she felt. I knew that feeling, as she hurried away to catch up with the others and I tootled along at my own pace.

I was soon at Ashness launch; the water low enough to walk along the lakeside and I took the obligatory photo as I always do here.

Continuing to walk along the shoreline, I came to my favourite bay…the view down through Derwentwater just stunning, especially since the snowfall on the fells beyond

I zoomed into Cats Bell and was shocked at how many people were at the summit, but then realised it was Saturday, so not surprising at all really

Just before I was due to cross the road and head inland through the wood, I caught the lovely sight of two Oyster Catchers.

I don’t ever remember seeing them here and they’re usually in large numbers, but I looked all around and, yes, there were only two 🤔

As I crossed to walk through the forest, it was clear that they’d been busy felling trees, some having secumbed to the storms, but I don’t remember such a large clearing here …

Lodore Falls Hotel had a full car park as I headed towards Christopher Robin bridge…

I always class that as halfway…and further along, another of my favourite bays and favourite piccies

Across the wooden walkways, through the gate and back into a wood….the pine cones nestled amongst the needles

I came to the spot where the wooden hands used to be….it was still empty….but then the shape near the waters edge looked familiar. I climbed up and there were the hands, as if discarded. They looked different 🤔 I only remember one hand but maybe it was because of the way they lay here in their new spot. Must have been a mammoth task to move them the 100 yards or so…

Every bay reveals more beauty….

I reached the sign for Hawes End

I usually turn here to go say hello to Sylvia at her resting point, but for some unknown reason, I carried straight on. At the end of the long path I went through the gate and walked along the path that runs parallel with Hawes End. It was here the magic happened….first a single Robin appeared 

….and gave me that familiar stare..

I smiled, “Hello Sylvia, Are you here to tell me off for not going down to the lake to see you?”. She hopped down by my feet

Then as she simply stood at my feet countless other birds flew around me 😳 I’d never seen so many Blue Tits and Robins in one place before, but still Sylvia stood happily by my feet, not flinching at all the birds flying around..

It was busy with people going by. One group stopped, amazed at the numbers. I wish I could have got them all in one shot, but they’d fly around me, land for a second, then fly around me again

And all the while, Sylvia just stayed with me

Others Robins crowded round on the floor

And on nearby branches

One man flapped his arms in a dismissive way as he walked by me…scaring them all away 😔�…the families that had stopped to watch, then went on their way, seeming as sad as me that the show was over. But once alone, I called Sylvia’s name again and she flew onto the rock beside and all the other birds reappeared…

It was as if Sylvia had arranged for me to meet her friends. It was so magical, with soo many birds, so many Robins all together in one place….never seen anything like it….

I could see another crowd of people coming now, one group after another. I whispered goodbye to Sylvia

“Thank you”, I said, and as the crowd approached, they all disappeared and it felt so silent, so lonely. To be honest, I was questioning myself as to whether it even happened….but the camera never lies…

I suddenly remembered the stare at the beginning of my walk….and with a smile on my face, I joined in the stream of walkers. Just two more miles and I’ll be back in my room…..the magic remaining in my head as I walked along…

P.S My stay turned pear shaped after this and sadly, the magic disappeared totally the day after, as dementia reared its ugly head and I had to leave paradise early….It was as if dementia was jealous of something else bringing me such pleasure…..but I didn’t want you to read my blog straight away about it as before then I’d had such a wonderful time, as I always do..…so you’ll have to wait until the 27th, but it’ll be obvious when it arrives in your inbox…

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

11 thoughts on “A magical walk around Derwentwater…

  1. Oh Wendy what a most wonderful and beautiful experience that was. Sylvia most certainly was with you that lovely day. Thank you so much for sharing…..it’s very very rare indeed for more than one or two robins to be seen together….
    God Bless. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a delight you are. Thankyou Wendy. We communicate with our Mum in a more meaningful way because of your insights. Eternal gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear your trip to paradise was brought short. But what a magical trundle that last one was. Maybe so very special as was to be your last in Paradise for a while. Sylvia knew and brought such joy 🥰
    Your photos captured the winter wonderland yet again and the wildlife surpassed all. Thank you Wendy you are a true inspiration to many xx

    Liked by 1 person

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